Computer passwords: the next generation
Why rely on letters and numbers? You could be improving your passwords – or even doing away with them
Thanks to the ever-present dangers posed by data leaks and compromised accounts, using a secure password is more important than ever before. There are a host of techniques out there that are useful for creating your own supersecure codes, but nothing clear: on the one hand, people will tell you to avoid dictionary words; and on the other you’ll be told to string a number of plain English words together for a long password you’ll be able to remember. Both have their advantages, but if your password makes it out into the wild they’ll be equally easy to break.
We do know this: using unique passwords for each site you visit is imperative, which is where password managers like LastPass or Dashlane come in. They’ll both generate long, complex passwords and input them for you – you don’t even need to know what the password is – keeping the
Using a secure password is more important than ever before
whole lot safe behind a single master password. Where it’s offered, you should also use two-factor authentication (2FA), which means any password you enter will have to be matched with a unique code delivered to you on demand either by an app or a text message.
Looking to dial it up another notch? With a physical security key, like Google’s new Titan or one of YubiKey’s various models, you can add an additional block on your accounts when using devices and sites that support it. You will still need to input your password, but without that unique key plugged into your USB port your account will be locked out, meaning you’re protected from even the most egregious security leak. A £50-ish investment in a security key means it’s not the cheapest way to put up walls, and they’re not compatible with every type of account quite yet, but what price do you put on your security?